Seiscientas Millas Manitas Diary

Seiscientas Millas Manitas Diary

May 30th

After two weeks delay, I finally started riding north. You can follow my progress at I would like to thank Andrés Sabogal & family, David Páez Acevedo, Felipe Ruibal & family and Estevan Rael-Gálvez for their generous support the past few weeks and for helping get this expedition off the ground. Gracias.

I did my first interview today in Cuyamungué and was able to document two names: La Mesita and Las Barrancas, both pictured below.

‘La Mesita’ Photo: Len Nils Beké

Rising only about 60 feet from its surroundings plateau, La Mesita is not a very tall feature but it is distinctive with large rocks strewn down its steep western slope. It’s located just east of Cuyamungué, across the highway on the Pojoaque Grant. The Spanish Cuyamungué derives from a Tewa place-name K’uuyemunge ‘Place of Fallen Rocks’ (k’uu ‘rock’ yemun ‘fallen’ ge ‘place’), which may have originally referred to this hill.  

‘Las Barrancas’ Photo: Len Nils Beké

Las Barrancas are a sandstone cliff band rising to the north-east of Pojoaque and stretching out for almost 2 miles straight north from Jacona. It is erroneously mapped with masculine grammatical gender as Los Barrancos. I confirmed the feminine form with several consultants from Cuyamungué. Nuevomexicano Spanish has both the masculine barranco and the feminine barranca, meaning cliff, though it’s unclear whether there is a slight semantic distinction between the two variants or whether particular microdialects of Nuevomexicano Spanish simply have one or the other. 

Featured Photo: 600 Manitos Miles – Len Nils Beké at the point of departure.

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